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LRT reliability still elusive, Ottawa city council hears

The city's head of transit says he's still waiting to hear whether Rideau Transit Group can improve reliability by the end of August.
2019-08-23 John Manconi City of Ottawa MV3
City of Ottawa General Manager of Transportation John Manconi, August 23, 2019. Mike Vlasveld/

The private consortium behind the O-Train's Confederation Line still hasn't provided the city with a firm timeline on when it will have the light rail system in a reliable state.

City council's Wednesday meeting heard that Rideau Transit Group (RTG) has been reluctant to specify a time when the east-west line would be up to snuff.

"What [RTG has] said verbally, when pressed for a date, is the end of the year," said John Manconi, the city's general manager of transportation services. "Both at the staff level and the political level...we have said that that is not acceptable; we cannot have our community waiting until the end of the year for consistent, reliable service."

Manconi told council that he's still waiting to hear whether RTG can improve reliability by the end of August.

Concerns also continue around the vehicles on the line, Manconi told council. He said RTG needs to get Alstom, the train manufacturer, to deliver on vehicle retrofits to address earlier issues. Vehicle problems have included things like the trains losing power while in transit.

A special meeting of the city's transit commission has been announced for June 1, by video conference, with a regular meeting planned for later in the month.

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